SOIL TEST INSTRUCTIONS:
How to Take a Soil Sample for pH Testing
Taking a soil sample for pH testing is easy:
(1) Identify the area(s) of your property you want to test: Different areas may have different pH levels, e.g., lawn vs. flower bed vs. vegetable garden. To submit different areas for testing, collect separate samples. Within a given area, if there are sections that are sickly vs. healthy, they should also be sampled and labeled separately (e.g., sickly vs. healthy sections of lawn).
(2) Gather your supplies:
- A spade, shovel, soil probe, or augur for digging your sample(s)
- One small clean bucket for each area you plan to sample (e.g., one bucket for the lawn, a separate bucket for your flower bed)
- One small plastic bag for each area to be sampled (3) Dig your soil sample(s):
- Step A: Depending on how large the area is, dig 5-10 holes approx. 6-8” deep for gardens (4-6” deep for lawns; 8-10” deep for trees/ shrubs); remove a sample of the soil all the way down to the depth of the hole; in other words, collect soil from the top, the middle and the bottom of the hole.
- Step B: Combine all soil samples from the same area in a clean bucket. Mix thoroughly and remove stones, sticks or other debris.
- Step C: Let the soil dry out for a few days in the bucket.
- Step D: Put approx. 1/2 cup of dry soil into a plastic bag. Mark the bag with your name and the area of your property where the sample was taken (e.g., lawn, rhododendron bed).
- If you want to sample additional areas of your property, repeat Steps A-B-C-D above. (4) Bring your sample(s) to the Shrewsbury Garden Club Plant Sale pH Test table
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